ARTISTS WITH ALEXANDRINA
The Stained Glass Windows of Balasar Church
Those who give their attention to the stained glass windows of the
Parish Church of Balasar cannot fail to notice their rare quality.
Their subject matter is concerned with Bld Alexandrina’s mystical
experiences and are a result of the contribution of Fr Francisco and
Professor Antunes, of Porto; of course Fr Francisco provided the
theological matter that he wished to be transmitted and Professor
Antunes translated it into art. The actual work was done by Casa
The first to be
made was the great stained glass of the Assumption, on the
main door, which shows Our Lady, our heavenly Mother, rising
and inviting worshipers to follow her to heaven. It is
complemented with two small stained glass above the main
altar, that speak of this assumption:
one (on the
right) is inspired by the episode of Elias who was tired and
asked God to take him but was urged by angel to continue his
journey to the mountain of God; that on the left more
directly concerns Alexandrina and shows us a way full of
thorns but that leads to the Gates of Glory.
The second set
of stained glass windows, those on the side, are very
On the right, above, is a great panel of the Descent of the
Holy Spirit. Under the feet of Holy Mary and the Apostles is
the globe representing the mission of the Church, as well as
that of Alexandrina, “to the ends of the earth”.
Below, moved by the same Holy Spirit, Alexandrina participates in
the redemptive suffering of Christ: she completes what is wanting to
His Passion, according to the well-known line of S. Paul.
On the left, above, can be seen the panel of the Last
Supper: all the Apostles, with the exception of Judas (who
is settled back in his chair planning treason), are
concentrating in the Eucharistic mystery.
Below, Alexandrina is immersed in the waves of love from the
Eucharist: “It is no more I who live, it is Christ who lives in me”,
she would say.
Other artistic products
Artists of some countries have put their creativity at the service
of the dissemination of Alexandrina’s life and the work.
The author of the expressive, beautiful watercolours for the booklet
Anima Pura Cuore di Fuoco is the Italian, Felicina Sesto.
Another collaborator of the Signoriles was the capuchin
Friar, Damaso, who illustrated the cover of Figlia del
Dolore Madre di Amore and of Mio Signore Mio Dio!
Closer to our time, Graziella Sarno painted the Pastorela che
conduce al Cuore di Gesù (Little shepherd who leads to the Heart
of Jesus) and did the illustration for the cover of Solo per
In 2006, Domenica Ghidotti painted Alexandrina’s excellent icon, a
copy of which came to Balasar in 2007.
The ceramics piece that illustrates the cover of the
Japanese edition of The Passion of Jesus in Alexandrina
Maria da Costa, in which the Beata encircles the world
with a Rosary, also comes from Italy. The piece belongs to a
The author of
an Alexandrina picture that had much exposure at the time of
the Beatification, and which appears on the Vatican website,
is Portuguese. Perhaps its oldest known copy is that which
can be found in an edition of Uma Vítima da Eucaristia.
The author of the Beatification panel was an Italian.
Initially there were three proposals for artwork, one of
which figures on the cover of a Salesian book (in it,
Alexandrina appears as a likeable adolescent).
Cover of Zampilli Incandescenti is by Brenda Hunter:
in it Alexandrina communicates to humanity the intimate life
that she lives with her Jesus.
This reliquary is of Portuguese provenance. Three copies of
it were made by Gomes Jewellers, in Póvoa de Varzim: one for
the Vatican, one for the Archdiocese and one for Balasar.
Along with these visual artists, one or two poet, and musical
composers have contributed to spreading knowledge of the Beata of
Balasar. The following poem (originally a sonnet) is perhaps the
most notable case of literary endeavour:
iris of purity…
How much she loved chastity and lived for it alone.
The good Jesus in the Holy Eucharist
Was her passion and what she longed for! …
She felt such a burning desire
To take the faith to all humanity…
But on her bed of pain there was only slow agony…
What resignation and humility!
She asked the Lord for more suffering for souls…
And God heard her voice…
How many years she suffered, without a moan!
Oh, how many times with Jesus alone
In the Holy Host… her only food! …
Lord’s elect, pray for us!
Deolinda Rodrigues, 6/8/1977
(Bulletin of Graces, December 1977)